A Utah State Prison inmate has been charged with first-degree murder and two other felonies in the death last summer of an elderly Salt Lake woman.
Daniel R. Troyer, 29, will be arraigned this week on charges of capital homicide, burglary and being a habitual criminal.Troyer is accused of killing Ethel G. Luckau, 88, in her home, 357 E. 17th South, on Aug. 17.
Blood found on Luckau's pillow and hair samples found on her body match samples taken from Troyer, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday in 3rd Circuit Court.
Luckau, who had last been seen alive about 9 a.m. Aug. 17, was found dead by a relative the evening of Aug. 18. A mortician notified police after noticing some unusual marks on her body.
Detectives discovered blood on Luckau's pillow and found she had suffered what seemed to be minor injuries. Her lip and face were swollen, her neck was bruised and her arm was cut, and her eyes appeared to have hemorrhaged in a manner consistent with strangulation.
An autopsy determined Luckau had died of asphyxiation, according to the complaint.
Detectives questioned Troyer at the Bonneville Correctional Center, a prison halfway house. Troyer had been released from the facility from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Aug. 17, according to the charges.
Troyer denied any involvement and provided an alibi. His story, however, conflicted with the story he gave halfway house officials, according to court documents.
Documents also allege that Troyer asked his sister on Aug. 19 to tell police that he was with her on Aug. 17. The sister told police about the request and said he was not with her on that day.
A confidential informant told police that Troyer told him he had committed a burglary at 393 E. 17th South on Aug. 17 and "got into a scuffle and may have hurt someone," the complaint said.
On Aug. 23, Troyer escaped from the halfway house. He was arrested in late October in Seattle and extradited to Salt Lake City, where he was returned to prison to complete his sentence for burglary.
The charges say Troyer should be found guilty of being a habitual criminal, which is a first-degree felony, because he has previously been convicted of four felonies.